Proposed Federal Employee Pay Raise of 1.9%
There has been speculation for the past several weeks that there would be a proposal for a 2018 federal employee pay raise of 1.9%. (See 2018 Federal Employee Pay Raise and COLAs)
According to the Washington Post, a budget official, who was not authorized to publicly comment, said agencies have been told by the White House to build a 1.9 percent pay raise for civilian employees into their spending plans for the fiscal year that starts on October 1, 2017. It is likely that this percentage will include an amount for locality pay to arrive at an overall average of 1.9%. That is how the federal pay raise has worked in recent years.
2017 Pay Raise
The 2017 federal employee pay raise was for an average raise of 2.1 percent. It was effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
The President’s proposed budget, released last week, did not provide any information about a federal employee pay raise. (See President’s Budget Sets New Federal Priorities and Trump’s Budget Proposes Significant Cuts to Federal Agencies.)
A proposed raise is just that; Congress will have a chance to intervene with a different amount for a pay raise. That has not happened in recent years but with the budget battle coming up, that could change for the next pay raise.
Proposal for 3.2% Pay Raise
Legislation has been introduced by Gerry Connolly (D-VA) for a 3.2% average federal employee pay raise for 2018. 51 Democrats are co-sponsors of this legislation. It has not been approved by the House Committee on Government and Oversight and may never be reported out of the committee. It is unlikely to be approved by the full House of Representatives.
Locality Pay Creates Different Pay Rates
As noted above, we assume that the 1.9% pay raise is likely to be an average with a higher amount in some locality pay areas and less in others. The base pay rate increase for 2018 will be less than the overall average. The average 2018 federal employee pay raise figure is likely to be reached by taking into account locality pay rates.
This means that some federal employees in some areas will get less than others. (See, for example, 2017 Locality Pay Rates for Federal Employees: San Francisco and DC Areas On Top)
As more data become available on the 2018 pay raise, we will notify readers of FedSmith.com.